Spencer, Jones lead King to 14th place finish at Midwest Classic

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The King University men's wrestling team traveled to compete in the 35th Midwest Classic and turned in a 14th place finish among 29 teams in the prestigious event. D'Marcus Spencer and JA Jones both made to the second day of competition and took fifth and six, in their respective weight classes.

Spencer advanced to the semifinals of the 133 pound weight class on Saturday after winning his first three bouts. He opened by defeating Zachary Reges of Gannon University on a fall in 1:26 before topping Coker College's Charlie Huff on a 4-1 decision. Spencer advanced to the semifinals after defeating Lake Erie College's Austin Gillihan on a narrow 3-1 decision. In the semifinals on Sunday, Spencer faced Ashland University's Michael Labry, and fell by a narrow 3-2 decision to the eventual champion. In consolation bracket, the junior dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to Zach Shank of Western State Colorado University. However, Spencer bounced back to defeat Baker University's Bryce Shoemaker 6-5 in the fifth place bout.

Jones' weekend didn't start out as well as Spencer's did as Jones fell to West Liberty University's Bryan Skoff in his opening bout. However, Jones found his stride in the consolation bracket, rolling off four straight wins to reach the semifinals. He started the run with back-to-back wins on falls against Chase Boyd of Tiffin University and University of Central Missouri's Brennan Johnson. He then defeated University of Findlay's Jordan Cowell on a 14-5 major decision to advance to Sunday's quarterfinals. On Sunday, the sophomore opened by topping Dominick Nania of Wheeling Jesuit University on a fall in 41 seconds before facing Tyler Knapp of Newberry College in the semifinals. However, Jones dropped that match on a 10-8 decision before falling to Ashland's Kyle Burns to take sixth place.

After losing his first bout of the day, Frank Yattoni IV recorded two consecutive major decision victories in the 141-pound consolation bracket before losing a 3-1 decision to Gannon's John Marotto. At 149 pounds, Chance Smith also reeled off two consecutive consolation bracket wins before falling to Seji Borja of Newberry who finished sixth after reaching the semifinals.

The Tornado finished 14th of 29 teams the prestigious tournament while Newberry won the 35th Annual Midwest Classic. The hosts, University of Indianapolis finished tied for second with McKendree University while Upper Iowa University finished fourth and Ashland University finished fifth.

King will be in action again on January 11 when the travel to the Coker Duals in Harford, S.C. The duals are scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. King will then host Limestone College on January 15 at 7:00 p.m., before hosting Anderson University on January 18.